New York City in 1847 sees a surge of Irish immigrants fleeing the Potato Famine, and with it, an outbreak of typhus fever. Madison Square Park opens to the public – its location at that time is considered the outskirts of the city. New York City’s population is about to surpass 500,000 residents.
Meanwhile, in Bristol, England the chocolate manufacturers Joseph Fry & Son create what many consider the first ‘modern’ chocolate bar to be eaten out of hand. Among the first to employ steam engines for grinding cacao beans, the company also built upon developments made by Casparus Van Houten years earlier by adding pressed cocoa butter back to the chocolate. This would pave the way for a myriad of new applications for chocolate and cocoa beyond the familiar beverage.
Seven chocolate-makers are listed in Doggett’s New York City Directory published in 1847:
Richard Bent, 162 Elm Street
John Clark, 121 Grand Street
John Corell, 174 Rivington Street
Felix Effray, 457 Broadway
Eugene Mendes, 248 William Street
Peter Poillon, 92 Elizabeth Street
John B. Rey, 31 Burling Slip
Within five years the number of manufacturers would double, along with a growing legion of confectioners who would further incorporate chocolate into their products.